Sanusi vs Ganduje: List of Ex-Govs Who Lost to Opposition After Fighting First-Class Monarchs

Sanusi vs Ganduje: List of Ex-Govs Who Lost to Opposition After Fighting First-Class Monarchs journalist Bada Yusuf is an accomplished politics and current affairs editor, boasting over seven years of experience in journalism and writing.

Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf has reinstated Muhammadu Sanusi II as the 16th Emir of Kano after he was removed and deposed by the immediate past governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, on March 9, 2020.

Ganduje, now the national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), removed the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) following the enactment of the Kano State Emirates Council Law, 2019.

Abdullahi Ganduje's fight with Muhammadu Sanusi II was one of the factors why he lost the state to NNPP during the 2023 governorship election in Kano. Other governors who suffered similar fates are Late Otunba Alao Akala and Gboyega Oyetola.
Sanusi: List of governors who lost after battle with first-class traditional rulers in their states Photo Credit: @masarautarkano, @OfficialAPCNg
Source: Twitter

The law empowered the then-governor of the state to break the historical power of the emir and created four emirate councils, namely Karaye, Bichi, Rano, and Gaya, in addition to Kano.

But on Friday, May 24, Sanusi received his letter of appointment from Governor Yusuf at the Kano state government house soon. Governor Yusuf had signed the Kano State Emirate Council (Repeal) Bill 2024 into law, and Sanusi was reinstated.

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Some traditional rulers bow in acceptance of Sanusi as the new emir. See the video here:

This was done without consideration for the court order that stopped Sanusi's reinstatement and the dissolution of the four emirate councils created by Ganduje. In his defence, Governor Yusuf maintained that a judge who was not in Nigeria did not have the right to stop the decision of the state assembly.

Reacting to the development, Barrister Oladotun Hassan, in an interview with, welcomed the development, adding that the deposed Emir removed in the manner at which he was installed. He said:

"What is happening in Kano is not new. The deposed Emir was removed in the same manner in which Sanusi was dethroned and vice versa."

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However, it is pertinent to note that the deposition of Sanusi was one of the factors Ganduje lost the state to the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) government during the 2023 governorship election in Kano.

Meanwhile, Ganduje is not the only former governor who lost the state to the opposition after their battle with first-class traditional rulers. Below is the list of other former governors who lost to the opposition following their rift with first-class monarchs in their states.

Late Otunba Alao Akala lost his re-election

The former governor of Oyo state had a series of power tussles with the late Alaafin, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi. The duo started in a good term at the beginning of the former. Akala enjoyed the support of Alaafin on his way to the governor's office.

According to Vanguard, the strong cord of love between Akala and Adeyemi broke for political reasons. Akala began the battle when he installed Chief Ganiyu Ajiboye as Baale of Ago-Oja in Oyo town without Oba Lamidi's consent.

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The relationship became so sour that Alaafin avoided a meeting between him and Akala, organized by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, so that peace could return between the duo.

The governor worsened the situation by saying that, aside from the Alaafin, there was another traditional ruler in Oyo.

Akala then lost the four local governments in Oyo towns and his re-election bid in the 2011 governorship election in the state.

Striking like a scorpion, Akala hurriedly signed the bill passed by the state assembly to amend the law governing traditional councils in the state.

Section 3(3) of the law repealed the permanent chairmanship of the council, which Adeyemi enjoyed, and the position would now be rotated every two years between the Alaafin, Olubadan, and Soun of Ogbomosho.

Oyetola lost Osun following a clash with monarchs

Gboyega Oyetola, the former governor of Osun state and now minister of marine economy, was one of the former governors who lost their states to the opposition after a public condemnation by a first-class traditional ruler in the state.

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Although there was no reported rift between Oyetola and the Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Oyetunji, during the campaigns, the monarch warned against obstructing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Ademola Adeleke, now governor, from visiting his palace.

Oyetunji, who spoke in Yoruba language in a viral video, also disclosed that he was installed as the Ataoja by a PDP government, suggesting that his loyalty was to the opposition against the ruling party in the state.

See the video here:

After losing the election, there was a protest in Osogbo over an alleged plot by Oyetola to remove the traditional ruler. The government denied the allegation.

Gov Yusuf orders arrest of Ado Bayero earlier reported that Kano Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf had ordered the state commissioner of police to arrest the deposed emir Aminu Ado Bayero immediately.

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The deposed Emir Bayero was accused of creating tension in the state after being smuggled into it at night.

Governor Yusuf had reinstated Muhammadu Sanusi II and sacked Ado Bayero four years after he was installed by the immediate past governor Abdullahi Ganduje.


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Bada Yusuf (Politics and Current Affairs Editor) Yusuf Amoo Bada is an accomplished politics and current affairs editor, boasting over 7 years of experience in journalism and writing. He is a graduate of OAU, and holds Diploma in Mass Comm. and BA in Literature in English. He has obtained certificates in Leadership and received the "Certificate for Breakthrough of the Year 2022" in recognition of his great performance during his first year at Worked as Editor with OperaNews. Contact: or call 08161717844

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